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The Church and Farming

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Fr. Denis Fahey C.S.Sp. - PB 226 pages

“I repeatedly promised Saint Peter that if I ever got the chance, I would teach the truth about his Master in the way he and his successors, the Roman Pontiffs, wanted it done. That is what I have striven to do and am doing.”    
—Rev. Denis Fahey

This is the last book published before Fr. Fahey’s death. It is an enduring testament to his love of the land and his firm belief that the best setting for most Catholic living is the family farm or small business, similar to the life lived by the Holy Family of Nazareth.
The Church is greatly interested in farming because it is the most fundamental of all human occupations. Those who work the land are deeply immersed in, and must work in harmony with, the natural rhythms and processes of God’s creative handiwork. The harmony and balance of rural life are profoundly upset by industrialized living, both on and off the land. Father delves into many spiritual, chemical, technical, and scientific questions pertaining to the future of farming and the life of the Church and all human society, which depends completely on the land for its existence and prosperity.

Table of Contents


Loreto Publications Introduction                                                                ix

Part I

Foreword                                                                                                                            vx
    
Teaching of Pope Leo XIII                                                                                1
The Two Currents issuing from the French Revolution—Principles Concerning Human Equality and the Right of Private Ownership—The Doctrine of St. Thomas—Erroneous Philosophies Behind Individualism

Allocution of His Holiness, Pope Pius XII                                            11
To the Italian Farmers’ Federation, On the Occasion of Their National Congress in Rome, 15th November, 1946, Particular Pleasure of His Holiness on this Occasion—Importance of Family Life of the Countryside—Characteristics of Genuine Rural Civilization—Family Farming—Lack of Right Ideals—Magnitude of the Task that Confronts Farmers—Reason for Opposition Between City and Country—Work Considered as Fulfilment of Function by Members of Christ.

Joint Pastoral Letter                                                                                                19
On the Rural Problem in Relation to the Social Doctrine of the Church, issued by His Eminence the Cardinal Archbishop of Quebec, and Their Excellencies, The Archbishops and Bishops of the Civil Province of Quebec.
The Agricultural Problem and the Clergy
I. Dangers which Threaten Our Rural Class, Causes of Rural Exodus
II. Proposed Remedies:
(1) Esteem for Agricultural Profession. Its Social Aspect—A Warning against False Doctrines—Woman’s Role.
(2) The Development of Rural Education. The Parents Role—The Rural Atmosphere of the School—Rural Education—Education in General—Adult Education.
(3) Farmers’ Professional Organization—Advantages of Association—The Catholic Union of Farmers—Educational and Economic Enterprise—The Respective Roles of the State and the Church.
Conclusion. The Supreme Remedy Lies in the Practice of Religion.

Part II
Reflections on Rural and Other Problems

Chapter I                                                                                                                            51
Erroneous Philosophies and their Consequences
The Predominant Role of Ideas—Both Descartes and Locke are Ockhamists or Nominalists—Consequences of Locke’s Teaching on Money—The “Economic Man” of Liberalism.

Chapter II                                                                                                                         69
Farming
Effects of Liberalism on Society in General—The Enthronement of Money and the Emergence of “Economics’’—The Advent of Agri-Industry—The Ravages of Agri-Industry—Africa—The Decay of Ownership and the Growth of Factory-Farming in U.S.A.

Chapter III                                                                                                                    89
Cartesian Philosophy in Action—Artificial Manures
Recapitulation of Philosophical Principles—Application of Chemistry to Agriculture—Humus and its Functions—Some Excellent Expressions of this Contrast in Philosophies—Chemical Fertilizers and Microzymas—A Striking Confirmation of a Statement by Dr. Alexis Carrel—Two Medical Doctors on Cartesianism—Testimony of a University Professor
Chapter IV                                                                                                                    107
Food and Health
The Factors of Proper Nutrition—Food Processing and Health—Flour-Milling and Bread—Brown Bread—Bleaching—Phytic Acid—Processing of Food in General—The Remedy—Nutrition and the Prevention of Ill-Health—Planning and Regimentation—The Fabian Society and Central Planning—Orders in Council—Fabianism on Both Sides of the Atlantic—The Planners Behind State Medicine—Fabianism in the U.S.A.—Ireland is Also Being Drawn into the Net—Words Versus Deeds

Appendix I                                                                                                                    161
The “Welfare State” Means the “All Powerful State”

Appendix II                                                                                                                163
The Attack on Family Life

Chapter V                                                                                                                    165
The Great Reality of Our Membership of Christ
The Return to Order—The Tiller of the Soil and Member of Christ—Union with Christ as Priest in Holy Mass—Membership of Christ in the Home—Education and Rural Life—Holy Mass and the Kingship of Christ—Farmers and Co-operative Organization—To Dealers in Money or Exchange-Medium Must be Assigned their Proper Place in States—England’s Return to the Gold Standard in 1925—An Example of Banking Technique in the U.S.A.—Principles of Monetary Reform—Lending of Lawful Exchange-Medium by Banking Guild—Stability of Price Level—Re-forestation—Compost from Sewage Sludge—Rural Family Life Needs Organized Help

Foreword

In his touching Christmas Radio Message, 1949, for the opening of the Holy Year, Pope Pius XII said: “May this Jubilee be the year of the great return of all mankind to the Divine Plan for Order! As the modern world has tried to shake off the sweet yoke of God, so it has rejected along with it the order He has established, and, with the self-same pride that moved the rebel angel at the beginning of creation, has pretended to set up another of its own choosing. After almost two centuries of sorry experiences and wanderings, those who are still sincere and honest admit that plans and impositions of this sort, which bear the name but lack the substance of order, have not yielded their promised fruit. …For man’s true nature as a creature having his origin and destiny in God, there has been substituted the false picture of man with conscience a law unto itself, man his own legislator brooking no control, with no responsibility towards his fellow men and the community, with no destiny beyond earth, no purpose other than the enjoyment of transitory things, no rule of life except that of the fait accompli and the unbridled satisfaction of his desires.”

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